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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Activist Freed From Psychiatric Clinic

openwiki.org.uaLarisa Arap
A member of an opposition group led by former world chess champion Garry Kasparov was released Monday from a psychiatric clinic after being held against her will for 46 days, a spokeswoman for the group said.

Larisa Arap, 48, a member of Kasparov's group in the northern port city of Murmansk, was forcefully hospitalized July 5 in what opposition activists said was revenge for exposing alleged abuse of children in a local psychiatric hospital.

Her case was taken up by human rights defenders, who saw in it echoes of the Soviet-era practice of locking up dissidents in psychiatric hospitals.

Arap was released Monday from a psychiatric hospital in Apatit, a city 300 kilometers from Murmansk, and was picked up by her husband, said Marina Litvinovich, a spokeswoman for Kasparov's United Civil Front. Arap had been moved to the hospital farther from her home in late July.

Arap's release came after a commission, sent by human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin to look into her case, said it found no reason for her forced hospitalization.

Her family had appealed her detention in court, but the request for her release was denied.

Arap was bundled into an ambulance July 5 after visiting a doctor to secure documents attesting to her mental health, as required by law in order to receive a new driver's license.

When the doctor realized she had criticized conditions at the psychiatric hospital in an article published in an opposition newspaper, the doctor called the police, said her daughter, Taisiya Arap.

Litvinovich said Monday that the United Civil Front would continue to seek legal redress in the case of Arap's hospitalization, Interfax reported.

"We will continue pursuing all legal activities already underway," she said.

Other members of Kasparov's group, including Kasparov himself, have been detained by the police, but Litvinovich said Larisa Arap was the first to be held in a psychiatric clinic.